Text of the video address by President Nursultan Nazarbayev on the occasion of Kazakhstan's assumption of the Chairmanship of the OSCE

Your excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Kazakhstan is assuming the extremely important mission of the Chairmanship

of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) with a sense of

great responsibility.

Our country will embark on its Chairmanship during one of the most

complicated periods in modern history.

Because of the global financial and economic crisis, tectonic shifts are taking

place in the global order, and this process is still far from completion.

The erosion of the regime of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,

terrorism, humanitarian and ecological disasters, famine, poverty, epidemics,

depletion of energy resources, conflicts based on interethnic and interreligious

differences-such is a far from complete list of the challenges faced by modern

civilization that call for maximum efforts by multilateral institutions of high standing

like the OSCE.

There is no doubt that the current world situation makes even more arduous

the test which Kazakhstan, as a country chairing the OSCE, will have to

pass. However, the most pressing problems that the OSCE is now facing have

always been at the heart of our foreign policy.

Since its independence, Kazakhstan has made a real contribution to

strengthening regional and global security. The shutdown of the Semipalatinsk

nuclear test site, the voluntary renunciation of the world's fourth largest nuclear and

missile arsenal and the complete elimination of its infrastructure are historic decisions

that our country has taken.

Recently, at Kazakhstan's initiative, the United Nations General Assembly

adopted a resolution proclaiming the 29th of August the International Day against

Nuclear Tests.

Kazakhstan is fully aware of its role as a responsible player in regional and

global economic processes. As a country exporting increasing volumes of

hydrocarbons to the world market, our country makes a significant contribution to

ensuring global energy security, including that of the European countries.

As a major exporter of grain and other foodstuffs, Kazakhstan is actively

promoting the implementation of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals

(MDGs) in order to end hunger and ensure food security.

The Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia

(CICA), convened at Kazakhstan's initiative, has now become a unique multilateral

instrument for Asian security and co-operation.

Today, this forum, which is an OSCE analogue for Asia, brings together

countries which account for one third of the world's GDP, with a total population of

approximately three billion people.

The top priority for Kazakhstan is the sustainable development of Central Asia.

The growth of our economy positively affects the region as a whole.

Together with other OSCE participating States, Kazakhstan fully supports

efforts aimed at bringing the East and West together in order to develop a better

understanding of the key issues confronting the modern world.

The multiethnic and multireligious composition of our population is a special

trait of our country. Representatives of more than 140 nationalities and 40

confessions live together as one big family in Kazakhstan.

Our model of interethnic and interreligious accord is Kazakhstan's real

contribution to the global process of interaction between different religions. At my

initiative, since 2003, Astana has hosted three Congresses of Leaders of World and

Traditional Religions, which have created a unique forum for interfaith dialogue.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Against this background, we consider the OSCE, with its unique geographical

coverage, its experience of interaction and the instruments it has developed, to be

one of the key mechanisms for ensuring international security and co-operation. It is

an organization that has played and continues to play an important role in

maintaining the security architecture in the area from Vancouver to Vladivostok.

At the same time, the positive historical resources of the OSCE are limited.

Today, it is not permissible to carry on endlessly drawing the so-called "red lines" and

playing the "zero-sum games" which have diminished its credibility.

Improving the effectiveness of international organizations in meeting new

global challenges has come to the fore. That is the precise task of the OSCE, which

is a unique platform for dialogue bringing together 56 States located on three


The decisive question for the OSCE in the future will be whether it can convert

itself into a structure that recognizes the diversity of the world in the 21st century, or

whether it will continue to be an organization segmented into blocs, where the West

remains aloof from the space "east of Vienna"?

Stereotypes of the "former Soviet republics" continue to dominate the minds of

some of our OSCE partners despite the fact of our almost 20 years of experience of

integration into the global democratic community.

In this context, the trust bestowed on us by the OSCE participating States

bears a special importance for Kazakhstan. Building a democratic society has been a

conscious choice of our people, and we will pursue further political liberalization of

our country and seek to improve the quality of life of the people of Kazakhstan. Our

OSCE Chairmanship is looked upon in the country not only as a foreign policy

success, but also as a valuable national achievement in its own right.

In accordance with OSCE traditions, we hereby wish to declare the motto of

our Chairmanship, reflecting the symbolic identification of Kazakhstan as the chairing


The motto of Kazakhstan's Chairmanship will be four Ts, namely, "Trust",

"Tradition", "Transparency" and "Tolerance". The first T refers to the trust that is

necessary for all of us. The second one refers to our commitment to the fundamental

principles and values of the OSCE. The third one conveys maximum openness and transparency in international relations, free from "double standards" and "dividing

lines", as well as a focus on constructive co-operation in order to address challenges

and threats to security.

Finally, the fourth T reflects global trends towards a strengthening of

intercultural and intercivilizational dialogue, which is gaining major importance in

today's world.

Kazakhstan considers expanding and strengthening the consensus base on

fundamental issues of development to be one of the key tasks for the OSCE. The 10-

year interval since the last OSCE summit is an illustration of the fact that the

consensus base is in stagnation, if not in crisis. In this regard, we call upon the

OSCE participating States to support Kazakhstan's initiative urging the convening of

a summit in 2010.

Such a meeting of OSCE leaders would afford an opportunity to celebrate the

35th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act, the 20th anniversary of the Charter of Paris

and the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II.

The agenda of the summit could include topical security issues in the OSCE

area of responsibility, as well as the situation in Afghanistan and issues relating to


Now is the time when the leaders of the OSCE participating States should

demonstrate their political will and focus on solutions to the difficult challenges facing

our nations.

A summit would not only give a powerful impetus to adapting the OSCE to

modern challenges and threats, but would also increase the confidence and respect

enjoyed by the Organization itself among our peoples.

Finally, it is the direct responsibility of the Heads of State or Government to

work towards strengthening security and co-operation for the benefit and prosperity

of the people who elect them.

Meanwhile, the OSCE is an organization that cannot be replaced. Its

stagnation or disappearance would create a volatile vacuum in the Euro-Atlantic


In this context, we suggest declaring August 1st, the day of the signing of the

Helsinki Final Act, to be OSCE Day.

Kazakhstan will try to focus on achieving the optimum balance among all three

OSCE "baskets". Such an approach would make it possible to see problems in their

entirety, and not only to effectively confront external manifestations of modern

challenges and threats, but also to tackle their roots.

Kazakhstan as the holder of the OSCE Chairmanship is firmly committed to

the fundamental principles and values of the OSCE. We intend to find mutually

acceptable solutions in the interests of all the participating States of the Organization.

Kazakh folk wisdom says: "Birlik bolmay tirlik bolmas - Without unity, there can

be no life." Our country considers the OSCE in the 21st century as a single space of

democracy, stability and prosperity for all the peoples living in it.

I thank you for your attention. I wish you every success in the New Year.